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N.C. identifies facilities with covid outbreaks

Four long-term care facilities in Henderson County and two in Polk County have covid-19 outbreaks, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported this week.

In a new, more transparent update, the DHHS reported on covid outbreaks in congregate living settings across the state. The report for the first time named all the facilities in Henderson County with covid outbreaks, something the county Department of Public Health had declined to do, and for the first time broke down the cases between residents and staff. The report showed 169 total cases in the four facilities in the county — 139 among residents and 30 among staffers. There have been 21 deaths, which is also the total number of deaths in Henderson County.

The Brian Center, which started a covid-dedicated wing this week, had 47 total cases, 42 of them residents, and eight deaths.

In long-term care facilities, the NC DHHS defines a COVID-19 outbreak as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases.

"An outbreak is considered over if there is not evidence of continued transmission within the facility," the DHHS said. "This is measured as 28 days after the latest date of onset in a symptomatic person or the latest date of specimen collection in an asymptomatic person, whichever is later. If another case is detected in a facility after an outbreak is declared over, the outbreak is not reopened. It is counted as a case in congregate living settings, and if a second case is detected within 28 days in the same facility, it is considered a second, new outbreak in that facility."

The new report will be updated on Tuesdays and Fridays, the agency said.